Blessings on this glorious Summer Solstice! I have made a challenge to myself: to write about my observations that are related to health and that provide a deeper meaning, on a daily basis, starting on this Summer Solstice and continuing until the Winter Solstice.
I begin this journey while sitting on a rock at 10,000 feet elevation on Mount Evans, next to a raging river, with my beautiful daughter beside me. She, too, is journaling.
There are so many topics I could explore…forest bathing; nature deficit disorder; the importance of slowing down; practicing mindfulness; the good side of mosquitoes (yes, there really is a benefit to these pests!); journaling; listening to the sounds of the natural world; hydrotherapy and polar bear clubs; how essential our core abdominal muscles are especially while crossing a makeshift fallen-tree bridge across a swollen stream; unplugging from modern technology; how different the experience is when one is free from EMFs (and what will we learn about the unknown dangers and health risks that are caused by our ever-increasing EMF exposures?); sunlight therapy; breathing in fresh air; nighttime stargazing and the sense of existential wonder that it evokes; finding the elusive balance between Yin and Yang; going to sleep at sunset and waking up at sunrise; the mysteriously primitive sensations of being around a campfire; How ladybugs and caterpillars can occupy a person for hours on end; hiking as a form of movement therapy; hydration and what does it really means to be hydrated in different scenarios and at different times of our lives; perspiration and the skin as an organ of elimination; hearing the whispers of our ancestors in the wind blowing through the aspen leaves; digging in the dirt, microbiomes, and the germ theory; what would our planet look like if we all taught our children to respect nature; wild edible plants; allergies and how they can offer insight into the way we interface with our environment; minimalism and honestly determining “how much is enough” in our lives; what does it mean to actually leave no trace; and so much more.
I intend to muse on many and possibly all the above topics, but that will be fodder for other days. Now, I feel compelled to delve into the realm of poetry:
It feels as though I have waited all of my life for this moment–the first day of summer.
But now that it is here, what was it that I was waiting for?
The world appears before me as a sea of dualities…day and night, sun and moon, hot and cold, masculine and feminine, summer and winter, good and bad, right and wrong, white and black.
We all dance this dance of dualities, much like the “Tai Chi” symbol, the icon of Chinese medicine. The Yin and the Yang are swirls of black and white, touching each other.
Yet as the light nears the end of this longest day of the year, and darkness falls upon us, I am left with one question. What if this was all an illusion and there really weren’t any dualities?
Dr. Mark Carney, RND, LAc